Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
Century Media Records
The Wanderer’s Return
Even within their respective field, Orphaned Land are relatively unique; the Israeli band manages to blend the ethnic music of the area with progressive metal elements such as odd time signatures, virtuoso playing and exceptional vocals.
It is no lie that Orphaned Land have spent their last few albums within the wilderness playing around with a more oriental sound. However, ‘Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs’ is certainly a welcome return to form. It is the sound of the band doing what they do best with some of the best songs that Orphaned Land have released in years; tracks such as ‘In Propaganda’, ‘Left Behind’ and the best song on the album ‘We Do Not Resist’. Although these, unfortunately, highlight the problems localised in Israel, the latter serves as a reminder to the world about the dangers of ‘fake news’ and those in charge.
Furthermore, what adds some serious firepower to the ‘Unsung Prophets…’ arsenal with the addition of some excellent guests; Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kürsch adds his unique voice to ‘Like Orpheus’, whilst Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates brings his trailblazing growl to ‘Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War’. However, it is the guest spot by legendary guitarist Steve Hackett during ‘Chains Fall to Gravity’, as the former Genesis man’s beautiful legato playing brings the track the life and adds an almost psychedelic fuelled mushroom trip through the desert to the album.
There are some tracks however which are not able to keep the pace with the ones mentioned above, ‘Yedidi’ and ‘All Knowing Eye’ feel relatively average sandwiched in-between ‘In Propaganda’ and ‘Chains Fall to Gravity’, whilst the albums closing track, ‘The Manifest’ feels rather anticlimactic after the crescendo of ‘Only the Dead…’. However, ‘Unsung Prophets…’ is a band embracing what they do best and it is good to have them back.
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine